Monday, April 21, 2014
Stephen Gostkowski enjoys Speaker Series
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski drew a sold-out crowd of about 200 fans at the team's hall of fame on Monday, as he was the latest player to host a "Speaker Series" event.
Gostkowski answered questions for about 45 minutes and then signed autographs and posed for pictures. The appearance came after he participated in the first day of the team's voluntary offseason program.
Stephen Gostkowski at a Patriots' "Speaker Series" event
"I didn't know what to expect, and then I walk in and there was a whole little stadium full of people. It was pretty cool," Gostkowski said. "A lot of the people had very knowledgeable questions, especially some of the little kids who are off from school this week. I don't know if their dads were telling them what to say but they were asking some good questions."
One that stood out to the nine-year veteran was if he consults with coach Bill Belichick on fourth-down situations on whether he wants to attempt a field goal. Gostkowski answered that he leaves those decisions up to Belichick.
Gostkowski was also asked about the possibility of the NFL eliminating the point-after-attempt, which he defended passionately. Gostkowski said he'd be OK with the league making the P.A.T. a more difficult attempt, but he doesn't want to see it eliminated entirely.
A few other highlights:
1. Gostkowski called the 2013 season one of the most fun he's had since joining the franchise in 2006 because of everything the team overcame.
2. Gostkowski said he doesn't play fantasy football, but that he likes it. "I will say, fantasy football has made kickers a lot more popular," he cracked, relaying stories of how fans in opposing stadiums sometimes tell him they want him to make five field goals as long as the Patriots lose the game.
3. Asked by a youngster which team is his favorite to play, Gostkowski was quick to point out how much the Patriots enjoy beating the Jets.
4. Gostkowski said he has a personal rule not to listen to sports talk radio or read any media coverage of the team during the season. It's all part of his goal of staying on an even keel.
5. When his playing career is over, he'd entertain the possibility of coaching baseball or doing charity work, such as helping athletes setting up charitable foundations.